You are previewing Troubleshooting Windows® 7 Inside Out.
O'Reilly logo
Troubleshooting Windows® 7 Inside Out

Book Description

You're beyond the basics, so dive right into troubleshooting Windows 7 -- and really put your PC to work! This supremely organized reference describes hundreds of prevention tips, troubleshooting techniques, and recovery tools in one essential guide. It's all muscle and no fluff. Discover how the experts keep their Windows 7-based systems running smoothly -- and challenge yourself to new levels of mastery.

  • Take control of essential Windows 7 maintenance and security features, such as the Action Center and User Account Control

  • Master quick fixes to the most common problems using expert tips and step-by-step repair guides

  • Implement best practices to help prevent and combat viruses, malware, and identity theft

  • Apply advanced troubleshooting techniques by understanding how Windows 7 works

  • Diagnose hardware problems and work safely with your PC

  • Develop a recovery plan to restore your system and data in the event of a disaster

  • Know when to use power utilities for advanced performance, maintenance, and diagnostics

  • Your book -- online!

  • Get your fully searchable online edition -- with unlimited access on the Web.

  • Table of Contents

    1. Special Upgrade Offer
    2. Acknowledgments
    3. Conventions and Features Used in This Book
      1. Text Conventions
      2. Design Conventions
    4. Errata & Book Support
      1. Your Companion eBook
      2. We Want to Hear from You
      3. Stay in Touch
    5. Introduction
    6. I. Prevention
      1. 1. Prevention Is Better Than Cure
        1. Upgrade or Clean Install?
          1. How to Install Windows 7 to Prevent Problems
        2. Keeping Your Installation of Windows XP or Windows Vista
        3. How Big Should Partitions Be?
        4. What To Do When Windows 7 Is Installed
          1. Useful Windows 7 Settings to Change
          2. MSConfig
        5. Moving Your Files Away from Windows
        6. Backing Up Windows 7
        7. Summary
      2. 2. The Basic Windows 7 Utilities
        1. Action Center
          1. Action Center Settings
          2. What Can You Do with Action Center?
        2. Windows Update
          1. Controlling Windows Update Through Group Policy
        3. Windows Firewall
          1. Diagnose/Repair
        4. Windows Defender
        5. Windows 7 and Anti-Virus Software
        6. Legacy Program Compatibility
          1. The Program Compatibility Assistant
          2. Windows XP Mode
        7. Summary
      3. 3. Basic Windows 7 Security
        1. The Reality of Virtualization
          1. Windows vNext
        2. Anti-Virus Software for Windows 7
          1. Microsoft Security Essentials
          2. Norton Internet Security/Norton 360
          3. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
          4. Windows Defender
          5. Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool
        3. User Account Control
        4. BitLocker and BitLocker To Go
          1. Method 1: Encrypting a Hard Disk or Partition with Hardware Support
          2. Method 2: Encrypting a Hard Disk or Partition Without Hardware Support
          3. Method 3: Encrypting a USB Flash Drive or External Hard Disk
          4. Using BitLocker with Non-Windows 7 Computers
          5. Why Use BitLocker?
        5. Beware the Weak Link at the Keyboard
          1. Keep Your Anti-Virus Software Up to Date
          2. Make Sure You Have a Good, Up-to-Date Firewall
          3. Get Anti-Spyware Software
          4. Keep Windows Up to Date
          5. Keep Your Software Up to Date
          6. Always Check Email Attachments Before Opening Them
          7. Use a Secure Internet Browser
          8. Get Spam and Phishing Filtering for Your Email Software
          9. Never Click Anything You Don’t Explicitly Mean To
          10. Look for the Padlock or the Green Bar
          11. Never Give Private Details Online Unless You Have To
          12. Keep Backups
          13. Keep the Driver CDs and Manuals for Your PC
          14. Keep Windows Maintained
          15. Be Careful When You Throw Away Your PC
        6. Guest Mode
        7. Gibson Research
        8. Summary
      4. 4. Backup and Restore
        1. Moving Your Files Away from Windows 7
          1. The Disk Cleanup Wizard
          2. Shrinking, Extending, and Creating Partitions
          3. Moving the Shell User Folders
        2. Using Backup and Restore
          1. Backing Up Files and Data
          2. Restoring Files and Data from a Backup
          3. Third-Party Backup Solutions
          4. Backing Up to the Cloud
          5. Version Control
        3. Backing Up the Operating System
          1. Restoring Windows from a Windows System Image
          2. Restoring Windows 7 from a System Repair or Install Disc
          3. Corporate Image Backups
        4. Determining How Many Backups You Need and Where to Store Them
        5. Summary
      5. 5. Maintaining Windows 7
        1. Defragmenting Your Hard Disks
          1. Which Hard Disks and Partitions Do You Defragment?
        2. Maintaining Windows
          1. Disk Cleanup
          2. Internet and Other Temporary Files
          3. Third-Party Tools and Utilities
            1. CCleaner
            2. Glary Utilities
            3. Ashampoo WinOptimizer
            4. PC Tune-Up
        3. Don’t Install Too Much Software
        4. Keeping Windows 7 Updated
        5. Keeping Auto-Running Software to a Minimum
        6. The One Year Reinstall Rule
        7. Summary
      6. 6. Users
        1. How Windows 7 Controls Users
        2. Managing User Accounts
          1. Setting an Administrator Password
          2. What Is the Guest Account?
          3. Parental Controls
          4. What’s Missing from Parental Controls?
        3. Group Policies
          1. Local Security Policies
          2. Computer Management
        4. Blocking CDs, DVDs, Flash Drives, and External Hard Disks
        5. Summary
      7. 7. Hardware
        1. What’s in a PC?
          1. Motherboard
            1. Sockets
            2. BIOS
              1. Warning Beeps
              2. Resetting the BIOS
            3. Northbridge and Southbridge
          2. Processor
          3. Memory
          4. Expansion Cards and Riser Cards
            1. Graphics Cards
          5. Optical Drives and Hard Disks
          6. Power Supply
          7. The PC Case
        2. How Can You Clean the Inside of Your PC?
        3. Hardware Health
          1. Desktops
          2. Laptops
          3. All-in-Ones
        4. SMART Monitoring of Hard Disks
        5. Peripherals
          1. Keyboards and Mice
          2. Monitors
          3. Other Devices
        6. Surge Protectors, UPS, and Power Supply
        7. Summary
      8. 8. Virtualization
        1. Virtualization vs. Dual Booting
        2. Are There Any Benefits to Virtualization?
        3. Virtual Hard Disks and Windows 7
          1. Creating a VHD in Windows 7
          2. Reattaching the VHD
          3. Booting From a Virtual Copy of Windows 7
            1. Using an Existing VHD
            2. Creating a New VHD
        4. Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode
          1. Installing Another Operating System in Windows Virtual PC
        5. Summary
    7. II. Quick Fixes
      1. 9. Annoyances
        1. Common Windows 7 Problems
          1. You Don’t Have Permission to Write Files to a Disk
          2. You Can’t See Your New Wi-Fi Network
          3. Incorrect File Associations
          4. Problematic Graphics, Sound, Keyboard, or Mouse Drivers
          5. This Copy of Windows 7 Is Not Genuine
          6. Windows Update Won’t Install Anything
          7. Search Isn’t Finding Your Files
          8. Service Pack or Update Install Was Interrupted
          9. Windows Starts Up Very Slowly
          10. Windows Shuts Down Very Slowly
          11. Problems with Sleep
        2. Hardware Annoyances
          1. Windows Gets Stuck at Its Loading Screen
          2. No Operating System Found
          3. A New Monitor Results in No Picture
          4. Your USB3 Device Doesn’t Work
          5. You’ve Installed a Fresh Copy of Windows 7 and Can’t Get Online
          6. Your Headphones or Microphone Won’t Work
        3. Summary
      2. 10. Viruses, Malware, and Other Threats
        1. Repelling an Attack
          1. Action Center
          2. Anti-Virus Software
            1. Microsoft Security Essentials
            2. Norton Internet Security/Norton 360
            3. AVG Anti-Virus/AVG Security Suite
          3. Anti-Malware Software
            1. Windows Defender
            2. Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool
            3. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
            4. Spyware Terminator
            5. Spyware Blaster
        2. Identifying an Attack
          1. Look for the Padlock
            1. Beware of Spam and Phishing Emails
            2. How to Create a Strong Password
          2. Do You Really Need Another Toolbar?
            1. Malicious Toolbars
          3. Do You Need that Extra Browser Plug-in or Download?
          4. Malicious Websites
          5. Malicious and Fake Anti-Malware Software
          6. What Goes on the Internet, Might Stay There Forever
        3. Repairing the Damage
          1. Use Your Existing Anti-Malware Software
          2. Try a Free Online Virus Scanner
          3. McAfee Stinger
          4. Safe Mode
          5. Manually Removing a Virus Infection
          6. Virus Removal Using Another PC
          7. Restoring Windows 7 from a Backup
          8. Viruses Corrupting the BIOS
          9. Where Can Viruses Hide?
        4. Summary
      3. 11. Easy Ways to Fix Windows 7
        1. Restore Previous Versions of Files
        2. System Restore
          1. Configuring System Restore
            1. Manually Creating Restore Points
          2. Restoring Windows 7 Using System Restore
          3. Can I Undo System Restore Changes?
        3. Troubleshooting Software Compatibility
          1. Manually Setting Program Compatibility
          2. The Automatic Program Compatibility Troubleshooter
          3. Program Compatibility Notifications in Action Center
          4. Windows XP Mode
        4. Windows Won’t Start
          1. Last Known Good Configuration
          2. Safe Mode
          3. Windows Startup Repair
          4. Startup Repair from an Install DVD or a System Repair Disc
          5. You Did Back It Up, Didn’t You?
        5. Working with Device Drivers
          1. Common Problems with Device Drivers
          2. Graphics Driver Problems
          3. Device Manager
            1. What If My Hardware Still Doesn’t Appear?
          4. Installing Device Drivers
          5. Removing and Reinstalling Device Drivers
          6. Updating Device Drivers
          7. Rolling Back Device Drivers
        6. Action Center Troubleshooter
        7. Microsoft Fix It Center
        8. Summary
    8. III. Technical Fixes
      1. 12. What Is Windows 7 Anyway?
        1. The Windows 7 File and Folder Structure
        2. How Does Windows Compare to Other Operating Systems?
        3. Summary
      2. 13. Identifying the Source of a Problem
        1. Taking a Step-by-Step Approach
          1. Minimum Windows Configuration
          2. Safe Mode
          3. Unplug Your Hardware
            1. Hardware and Interrupt Requests (IRQ)
        2. Why Problems Occur with Windows
          1. Keep Things Simple
            1. Don’t Install Programs that Duplicate Features in Windows
        3. What Are the Causes of Common Problems?
          1. The Domino Effect
        4. Have You Tried Turning It Off and On Again?
        5. The Blue Screen of Death
        6. The Perpetual Restart
        7. Summary
      3. 14. Advanced Diagnostic Tools in Windows 7
        1. Performance Information and Tools
        2. Event Log
          1. How to Read the Event Log
        3. Performance Monitor
        4. Resource Monitor
        5. Windows Task Manager
        6. System Information
        7. System Health Report
        8. Computer Management
        9. Using the Windows 7 Performance Tools
          1. Take Time to Step Back
        10. Summary
      4. 15. Advanced Repair Methods
        1. Repairing Microsoft Internet Explorer
          1. Disable Your Add-Ons
            1. Running Internet Explorer with No Add-ons
            2. Managing Add-Ons from the Control Panel
          2. How to Factory Reset Internet Explorer
            1. Resetting Internet Explorer When You Can’t Start It
          3. Can You Reinstall Internet Explorer?
          4. Updating Internet Explorer via Windows Update
          5. Alternatives to Internet Explorer
        2. System File Checker
        3. Using MSConfig for Diagnostic Startups
        4. Managing Windows Services
        5. Working with the Windows Registry
          1. Removing the Registry Settings for an Uninstalled Program
        6. Using the System Repair Disc for Advanced Restore
          1. BootRec.exe
            1. Repairing the Boot Menu by Using BootRec
            2. /FixMbr
            3. /FixBoot
            4. /ScanOS
            5. BCDEdit
            6. Other DOS Commands in System Recovery Options
          2. Windows Memory Diagnostic
        7. Using Safe Mode
        8. Summary
      5. 16. Windows Problems Demystified
        1. Windows 7 Core Operating System Files
          1. Windows 7 Security and Policy Folders
          2. The Windows 7 Registry
          3. Personalization Folders
          4. Windows 7 Logs
          5. Temporary Files Stores
        2. Advanced File Restore
        3. System File Checker
        4. Creating a Slipstreamed Install DVD
          1. What You Will Need
          2. Step 1: Creating a Windows Pre-Installation Environment Startup Disc
          3. Step 2: Installing a Fresh Copy of Windows 7
          4. Step 3: Creating a New Windows Image File
          5. Step 4: Creating a New Windows 7 Installation DVD
          6. Third-Party Slipstreaming Software
        5. Summary
      6. 17. Remote Help
        1. Using the Internet to Find Solutions to Problems
          1. Where Else to Get Help
        2. Windows Remote Desktop
        3. Windows Remote Assistance
        4. Problem Steps Recorder
        5. Summary
      7. 18. Where to Find More Help and Support
        1. Windows Help
        2. Third-Party Software
          1. Sisoftware Sandra Utilities
          2. Windows Sysinternals
          3. Zinstall zPOD
          4. GoToAssist
          5. SpinRite
          6. Windows Memory Diagnostic
          7. Norton Ghost
          8. Acronis True Image
          9. Paragon Partition Manager
          10. Acronis Disk Director Suite
        3. Third-Party Websites
          1. Tom’s Hardware
          2. Tech PC Forums
          3. Computing.net
          4. How-To Geek
          5. Annoyances.org
          6. Gibson Research
          7. ATI Support
          8. nVidia Support
          9. MSDN Diagnostics
          10. Within Windows
          11. The Long Climb
        4. Summary
      8. 19. Diagnosing Hardware Problems
        1. PC Hardware Guide
          1. Desktop PC Case
          2. Power Supply
          3. Motherboard
          4. Processor
          5. Memory
          6. Hard Disk
          7. Optical Drive
          8. Graphics Card
          9. Expansion Card(s)
          10. Fans
          11. Keyboards and Mice
          12. Laptops, Netbooks, and All-in-One PCs
        2. Safe Working
        3. Is Everything Plugged In?
        4. Minimal Hardware Boot
        5. Resetting the BIOS
        6. Jump-Starting Your PC
        7. Summary
    9. IV. Disaster Recovery
      1. 20. Windows and Data Recovery Tools
        1. You Did Back It Up, Didn’t You?!
        2. Restoring Windows and Data from a Backup
        3. Data Restore Through Over-the-Top Reinstall
        4. RAID Drives
        5. Summary
      2. 21. Restoring from Another PC
        1. Restoring a Windows Image on Another PC
          1. zPOD
        2. Restoring Windows File by File
        3. Restoring Your Data by Using Another PC
        4. Summary
      3. 22. Linux: An Operating System on a Disc
        1. System or Data Restore Using Another Operating System
        2. Useful Software in Linux
          1. Remote Desktop
          2. System Monitor
          3. System Testing
        3. CD and DVD Burning in Linux
        4. Compatible Linux Operating Systems to Run from a Disc
          1. Ubuntu
          2. Other Variants of Linux
        5. Creating a Linux Installation Disc or Pen Drive
        6. Summary
      4. 23. Third-Party Rescue Tools and Services
        1. Zinstall and zPOD
          1. Zinstall
          2. zPOD
        2. GRC SpinRite
        3. Other Third-Party Tools
          1. O&O Disk Recovery
          2. Ashampoo WinOptimizer
        4. Other Third-Party Services
        5. Summary
      5. 24. When You Can’t Recover Data
        1. Encrypted File System
          1. Setting Up EFS
          2. Restoring an EFS Key
          3. Turning EFS Off
          4. EFS Certificates
          5. Smart Cards and EFS Certificates
          6. File Encryption Certificate Manager
          7. Recovering EFS-Encrypted Files
            1. Advanced EFS Data Recovery
            2. EnCase Forensic
          8. Cipher.exe
        2. BitLocker and BitLocker To Go
        3. Creating a Copy of Encrypted Data
        4. Summary
    10. V. Power Utilities
      1. 25. Advanced Windows Diagnostic Tools in Depth
        1. Computer Management
          1. System Tools
            1. Task Scheduler
              1. Adding New Tasks
              2. Exporting Tasks
            2. Event Viewer
              1. Event Log Filtering
              2. Attaching a Task to an Event
              3. Creating Custom Views
            3. Shared Folders and Local Users and Groups
            4. Performance
            5. Device Manager
          2. Storage
          3. Services and Applications
            1. WMI Control
        2. Performance Information and Tools
          1. Visual Effects
          2. Indexing Options
          3. Power Settings
          4. Disk Cleanup
          5. Advanced Tools
            1. Event Log
            2. Performance Monitor
              1. Data Collector Sets
              2. Viewing Data Collector Sets
              3. Scheduling Data Collection
            3. Resource Monitor
            4. Task Manager
            5. System Information
            6. Appearance and Performance
            7. Disk Defragmenter
            8. System Health Report
        3. Control Panel Troubleshooters
        4. Summary
      2. 26. Windows Firewall in Depth
        1. Windows Firewall
        2. Windows Firewall with Advanced Security
          1. Managing Firewall Rules
            1. General
            2. Program and Services
            3. Computers
            4. Protocols and Ports
            5. Scope
            6. Advanced
          2. Adding New Inbound or Outbound Firewall Rules
          3. Setting a Connection Security Rule
          4. Monitoring
        3. Port Control for Routers
        4. Summary
      3. 27. Advanced Registry Work
        1. Registry Sections
          1. HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT
          2. HKEY_CURRENT_USER
          3. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
          4. HKEY_USERS
          5. HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG
        2. Registry Keys and Settings
        3. Backing Up and Restoring the Registry
        4. Working with the Registry
          1. Editing, Deleting, or Adding Registry Keys
          2. Backing Up Specific Registry Keys
        5. Finding Information in the Windows Registry
        6. Summary
    11. VI. Appendices
      1. A. Windows 7 Editions
      2. B. Windows 7 Features by Edition
      3. C. Windows 7 Shortcut Keys
      4. D. BIOS Beep Codes
      5. E. Glossary
      6. F. About the Author
        1. Contacting the Author
    12. Index
    13. About the Author
    14. Special Upgrade Offer
    15. Copyright